Comelec: Full automation of barangay, SK polls ‘unlikely’

Comelec chairperson George Erwin Garcia (center)

Commission on Elections Chairman George Erwin Garcia said on Thursday that conducting a full automated system in the upcoming barangay and Sangguniang Kabataan elections will not be possible given the ongoing preparations for the October polls, which will be done manually.

Cavite 4th District Representative Elpidio ‘Pidi’ Barzaga Jr. had proposed the automation of the local polls to speed up the tabulation of results and avoid “human intervention or error and confusion” in the conduct of the polls.

Garcia, however, said that “To fully automate is unlikely at this point. We are halfway [on] the printing of ballots for the conduct of manual elections.”

The poll body is printing 91 million ballots for the upcoming elections, and are more ballots for printing once the updated list of registrants is finalized following the two-month voter registration period from 12 December last year to 31 January.

Garcia said that they are studying the pilot testing of automated barangay and SK elections in select locations and precincts.

However, the Comelec will be using automated systems for the conduct of the Special Congressional Elections in the 7th Legislative District of Cavite scheduled on 25 February.

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